A common trait Assassin’s Creed groups have is the constant theorizing about future settings, because historical tourism is one of the best parts of the series. This series of posts will act as a counter to my Mildly Obscure setting discussions, but rather than looking at a single point, I will be taking a broad setting that is popular and looking at several potential settings to explore within it. Today’s setting is discussing the wars of the Roman Republic.
Honorable mentions are the Liberator’s Civil War and Last War of the Roman Republic, however, both are touched on by Origins and its comics. While interesting, they’d also mostly take place in Greece and Egypt, which I’d want to avoid to an extent since we just saw those settings.
2nd Punic War
The Second Punic War was one of the bloodiest and longest lasting wars in the ancient era, which ultimately is what allowed Rome to become the powerhouse that it was and dominate the Mediterranean. Hannibal Barca was raised on the battlefield by his father, and upon his father’s assassination, Hannibal was placed as commander in chief by his army. He took no time to secure his domains and expanded his reach in Iberia for 2 years. In 219bce, Hannibal laid siege to the Roman-Iberian city of Saguntum. The Roman senate responded by declaring war on Carthage
. Hannibal, with the support of his brothers, rallied tribes of Gauls and Celts to aid him and marched with war elephants across Africa, through Spain, and into Italy where Hannibal quickly won the battles of Trebia and Cannae. All told, Hannibal marched through Italy for a total of 15 years. He failed to ever gain a distinct advantage over Rome to win a decisive victory but used his time in Italy to rally support throughout the Mediterranian including getting Phillip V of Macedonia to go to war with Rome in 214bce.
Despite Hannibal staying in Italy for 15 years, I’d much rather a game focused in Carthage
at this time, facing opposition from Numidia to the East and potentially seeing Templar influence from within. Eventually, Scipio Africanus would push Hannibal out of Italy, take part of Spain and invade Carthage
. This would lead to the battle of Zama in 203bce and shortly after, Carthaginian lands would be salted. Hannibal lost his power and would eventually go to Syria to aid the Seleucids' fight against Rome. There’s also next to no lore about Hannibal, the war, or Carthage, making it easy to fill in some gaps about Templars and Assassins in Rome and Carthage. Maybe Hannibal was in search of the Rome Vaults?
Following the events of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Philip of Macedonia would go on to extend his Empire and take the majority of Greece. His son Alexander the Great would extend the empire into Persia and conquer the majority of Persia and part of Egypt before being assassinated by Iltani in Babylon. I discussed the potential for Iran and the Fertile Crescent as this post
. However, I didn’t discuss what came next, which was the splitting of the Macedonian Empire across Alexander's generals. The Ptolemies took control of Egypt and controlled it until AC Origins where we see the Romans begin to seize control. The Seleucids controlled the majority of Anatolia
(AKA Asia Minor, which is the eastern half of what is now Turkey).
Philip V took the opportunity of the 2nd Punic War to begin an offensive against the Romans in the Adriatic Sea. This however ended in a 14-year long stalemate. With Carthage being defeated, however, he took the time to work with the Seleucids to expand into Ptolemy’s territory but inadvertently created the States of Pergamon and Rhodes
in Anatolia who disagreed with the imperialism. Rome took the time in 200bce to then declare war against Macedonia stating it was to “protect the Greeks” and decisively defeated Phillip V’s phalanx at the Battle of Cynoscephalae in 197bce thus changing Hellas to these borders
with the agreement that Philip would not interfere outside the borders of Macedonia.
Enter Hannibal. Now Exiled from Carthage, he joined the Seleucids, who were seeking to reform Alexander’s Empire. The Seleucids entered Macedonia and began to take Greece, forcing Philip to ask for Rome's return. Scipio Africanus, coming back from trying to work out peace in Egypt would join his brother to help the Macedonians defeat the Seleucids at Thermopylae in 192bce forcing a retreat back to Anatolia. There the Seleucids attacked Pergamon and Rhodes for several years before the battle of Magnesia in 190. Eventually, the Seleucids were defeated in 188 forcing Hannibal to flee north to Bithynien while Rome ultimately destroyed the Seleucid Empire in Anatolia and replaced it with the Pergamon Kingdom which remained an ally of Rome. Ultimately I believe this would be the best location for a game during the Macedonian wars because we can still part of Macedonia like Pella
and maybe Mt Olympus and Thermopylae to show part of Greece not in Odyssey with then a focus on Anatolia so we have the big cities like Byzantion
, and Rhodes
:max_bytes(150000):strip_icc()/GettyImages-514887778-5bae4689c9e77c0051167c9e.jpg), 3 of which has ancient wonders of the world at this time. It also is a fantastic sequel for the Punic War because it’s in part able to make out to be Hannibal vs Scipio round 2. Both of whom died 5 years later in 183bce. It would also allow us to mainly focus on part of Hellas not explored in odyssey while telling a new Story, and could even expand on the lore of Kassandra between origins and odyssey. This setting could also examine the lost city of Troy
and what happened to it after the Trojan war. Ultimately the Macedonians would continue to rebel against Rome until their defeat in 148bce which firmly cemented the majority of Greece to then fall under Roman rule, and like Bayek said in Origins, “Greece is already lost”. Cyprus could also make a good DLC.
Third Servile War
Italia was formally unified and all residents were granted Roman Citizenship in the Italian Social War
in 91-89bce. During the war, Lucius Caesar, Uncle of Julius Caesar served with Sulla, and following Lucius’ Death, Sulla put down the Rebellion and marched on Rome, becoming a dictator by force. Sulla would eventually lead in the First Mithridatic war leading to a rise in piracy in the region. During this time Gaius Antonius Hybrida began making a name for himself in Macedonia as a legate for Sulla while Cicero was an opponent of Sulla who he even challenged in courts. While Cicero has not been stated to be, he very likely would have been an ally of an early hidden one's style movement in Rome. Following Sulla’s death, the second Mithridatic war broke out and was once again put down by the Romans. These wars were largely fought in Greece and Anatolia. Wars were one of the biggest ways the Roman obtained slaves, through captured combatants, and many slaves were often sent to Rome to learn to be a gladiator as a special school for slaves.
In 73bce, 200 slaves escaped one of these schools in Capua using just kitchen utensils that 70 of them had provisioned and fought their way to freedom, being led by the Gauls Crixus and Oenomaus, and the Thracian Sparticus. The escaped slaves fled to Mt Vesuvius (near Naples
, Pompei, and Herculaneum) where they were battled by Gaius Claudius Gaber and won against the 3000 legionaries. This kicked off the Third Servile War
, as the Roman Senate now were worried about Slaves marching on Rome
. Spartacus and the slaves eventually grew to an army of 120,000 in size. Continued failures of Gaber in 72ce near Modena
caused Pompey who had just returned from the Third Mithridatic War and Marcus Licinius Crassus, the richest man in Rome, to be sent to finally quell the rebellion. Misguided reinforcements were sent from the Mithridatic War back to Brundisium, causing Crassus to accelerate his plans and march against Spartacus and his armies. Spartacus attempted to sue for peace but was unable to. Spartacus at that time had 50,000 soldiers left and they met with Crassus and Pompey at the Battle of the Silarius River. 1000 Legionaries were killed in the battle, and 36,000 slaves. Afterward, another 6000 slaves were crucified across the Appian Way by Pompey and Crassus had another 5000 that were captured crucified later on. According to Discovery Tour in origins, Spartacus was among the 6000 originally crucified. The famous scene of all the slaves declaring “I am Spartacus” is a fictitious moment due to the writer’s experience with McCarthyism in America in the 1950s, but I can definitely see Ubisoft using it there.
Should Ubisoft choose to do this setting, the Catilinarian conspiracy could make a solid DLC. a Few years after the slave rebellion was put down, the Roman Senator Catiline plotted to kill and/ or overthrow the senators Lucius Manlius Torquatus, Lucius Aurelius Cotta, Cicero, and Hybrida between 65 and 63bce with the help of veterans from the wars under Sulla. Cicero found out about the latter plot in 63bce and exposed him to the senate, causing Catiline to be expelled and eventually leading to the battle of Pistoia in 62bce.
Third Mithridatic War
In 74bce after the first two Mithridatic Wars, Mithridates VI was asked to leave his Kingdom
to be taken by Rome upon his death. Mithridates refused by invading Bithynia. Marcus Aurelias Cotta took charge on the western front, pushing the Armenians out of western Anatolia. In 71Ce after sending troops to Brundisium, Lucullus led the Siege of Themiscyra
(yes it’s a real place, not just a wonder woman island). In 70ce Lucullus besieged Sinope
, while Cotta returned to Rome. Lucullus continued to lay siege and push east through Pontus and Armenia Minor until 68bce when during a siege, Mithridates led his army around back into Pontus. In 67bce, after several skirmishes, this led to the battle of Zela, leaving over 7000 Romans dead and Mithridates in firm control of Pontus. In 66bce, Pompey came to Armenia and subsequently swiftly conquered the Caucasus region in a single year. We don’t know every city in that region during the Roman conquest, but Tbilisi
has some Roman Ruins, Artaxata
was sacked, and the city of Baku
in Azerbaijan was visited by Romans based on some archeological finds. The current Fire Temple may also be sitting over an Isu site and was likely another religious temple prior to the current temple’s existence. The really nice thing about this set is that it can combine a fairly unique region that is often glossed over with well known Roman characters. This could also feature as a good sequel to a game following the Third Servile War so that we can mostly focus on the war in Armenia, Albania, and Pontus.